Languages

The History of English in Ten Minutes

Where did the phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ come from? And when did scientists finally get round to naming sexual body parts? Voiced by Clive Anderson, this entertaining romp through 'The History of English' squeezes 1600 years of history into 10 one-minute bites, uncovering the sources of English words and phrases from Shakespeare and the King James Bible to America and the Internet. Bursting with fascinating facts, the series looks at how English grew from a small tongue into a major global language before reflecting on the future of English in the 21st century.

Video
Beginners’ French: food and drink Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Ian Shaw/Alamy. free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages

Beginners’ French: food and drink

Improve your language skills by learning to communicate more easily and effectively in French. In this free course, Beginners' French: Food and drink, you will also gain an insight into French societies and cultures through focusing on food and drink. You will listen to French speakers in a variety of situations, and you will be provided with some skills for coping with reading texts.

Free course
5 hrs
Beginners' Chinese free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages

Beginners' Chinese

Learn about Mandarin Chinese as a tool for communication and gain insights into Chinese society and culture. This free course, Beginners’ Chinese, provides a brief introduction to the Chinese language, its scripts and sounds, and how words are formed. You will hear short conversations where people greet each other, introduce themselves, describe where they come from and what they do for a living. You’ll hear them talk about their daily activities and order food and drinks in a restaurant. This OpenLearn course will be easily accessible for those with some basic knowledge of Chinese.

Free course
6 hrs
Swapping between languages: Bilingual people expressing emotions Creative commons image Icon Quinn Dombrowski under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license article icon

Languages 

Swapping between languages: Bilingual people expressing emotions

If you speak two languages, is the trigger to switch between them an emotional one? Hanan Ben Nafa has been investigating.

Article
Beginners’ French: food and drink Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Ian Shaw/Alamy. free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Beginners’ French: food and drink

Improve your language skills by learning to communicate more easily and effectively in French. In this free course, Beginners' French: Food and drink, you will also gain an insight into French societies and cultures through focusing on food and drink. You will listen to French speakers in a variety of situations, and you will be provided with some skills for coping with reading texts.

Free course
5 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Prazis | Dreamstime.com video icon

Languages 

"That's so gay!" Homophobic language and school

How is the word 'gay' used in your school? What negative impact it can have on the pupils' views about homosexuality? Find out with the founder of Inclusion for All, Shaun Dellenty.

Video
15 mins
Language and creativity free course icon Level 2 icon

Languages 

Language and creativity

This free course is an introduction to the relationship between language and creativity, to the roles that linguistic creativity plays in culture and society, and to the different approaches to its study.

Free course
8 hrs